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Researchers develop flow chart forecast for Piney Point contaminated water discharged in Tampa Bay

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 19:50:13-04

PALMETTO, Fla.  — A Piney Point water flow model developed by USF researchers shows the forecasted flow of more than 200 million gallons of contaminated water that was pumped into Tampa Bay to prevent the collapse of a leaking gypsum stack.

The model shows the water moving back and forth near Port Manatee and the mouth of Tampa Bay.

Researchers say it will take months before the water completely flushes out of the Bay.

"It's going to continue sloshing back and forth and there will be a slow decrease in the overall concentration," said Dr. Bob Weisberg, a USF Ocean physicist.

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Researchers say right now the water is not toxic and it is still OK for people to use the Bay for recreation.

Weisberg says the hope is that the water will quickly disperse and become diluted. For now, several organizations continue to monitor the water quality for any changes.